Skip to main content

Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

See other formats

Elsewhere in Latin America, when World Bank President Robert McNamara announced in Argentina that rapid population growth could slow economic development, the reaction was swift and predictable. Inter-American Bank President Felipe Herrera announced that "Latin America is not overpopu-lated but underpopulated" (46). El Clarin termed it an "insulting racism which can indifferently let hundreds of thousands of colored people die in Nigeria and Biafra and which now hopes to avoid future problems by preventing them from being bom" (47). President Ongania answered by deeds, quickly supporting new Argentine legislation to stimulate the birth rate by major increases in family allowances. According to the wording of the bill: "This innovation represents only the beginning of a family and demographic policy that would tend to stimulate the increase in the number of births in order to enrich the human potential of our country as an indispensable means to guarantee authentic national justice." In providing additional sums beginning with the third child, the legislation is clearly directed at "the realization of a demographic policy" (48).
The Bolivian National Senate made a long declaration in response to McNamara's statement, maintaining that "Because of its territorial extension and its small population, Bolivia's development depends on the increase in its population, also considering that the chief factor in commerce and industrialization, in addition to the man who produces, is the man who consumes" (49).
Ethnic and Racial Nationalism Within nations the same phenomenon can be seen with respect to nationalistic minority groups. Blacks often see themselves in a demographic race with whites, and vice versa.
Right now there are about 3.6 million Europeans living in South Africa and 19.1 million Africans and Asians: about a 5 to 1 ratio. By the year 2000 . . . the gap will have widened to 7 to 1. This projection has struck fear into the "whites." (50)
Cesar Chavez, organizer of the California grape pickers, has stated, "Our only solution is to make the minority much less a minority and make the race progress and multiply" (51); while a small California-based group, EROS (Efforts to Raise Our Size) takes a position very similar to the demographic nationalists of the Third World. As interpreted by Stewart, they maintain that
The 180,000,000 or more white Americans had sustained an unlimited population growth for over 400 years until they reached the numerical strength they desired. It was their feeling, then, and the feeling is more widespread now, that non-whites who number only 22,000,000 or more need to double this amount in the next 20 years. It is their feeling that the present white majority who had the luxury to grow at their phenomenalring of life" (45).on occasion explicitly established.